Airbus' autonomous eVTOL aircraft successfully completes its first test flight

Aerospace giant Airbus' Vahana electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft called as Alpha One, completed its first autonomous test flight on 31 January.

Airbus claims that this is the stepping stone to start a fleet of autonomous, multirotor eVTOL aircrafts to transport people from one roof to the other in cities which have high traffic congestion.

Alpha One. Vahana

Alpha One. Vahana

The Vahana eVTOL lasted for about 53 seconds in the air and lifted off to a height of 4 meters. The aircraft is a result of two years of planning and building, after Airbus announced the project in early 2016 as part of its A^3 (pronounced A Cubed) a Silicon Valley-based subsidiary, according to The Verge.

Fun fact, the word 'Vahana' is taken from the Sanskrit language and means a vehicle or god's mount.

The report claims that the Alpha One was originally scheduled to launch at the end of 2017 and back in November Airbus also posted a number of photos showing its team working on the aircraft. Since then, regular updates have been provided by the company until the final test run happened the day before yesterday.

The Alpha One measures 20.3 feet wide, 18.7 feet long, 9.2 feet tall in dimensions and weighs about 750 kg.

"Our goal is to democratise personal flight by leveraging the latest technologies such as electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision. Our first flights mark a huge milestone for Vahana as well as the global pursuit of urban air mobility.” Zach Lovering, project executive at Vahana, said in a blog post.

Updated Date: Feb 02, 2018 10:13 AM